Craig Thatcher Roars to second UMP Modified win at Volusia Speedway and wraps up Speedweeks Title! BARBERVILLE, FL - Two time and defending Florida UMP Winter Nationals points champ Craig Thatcher roared to his second United Midwestern Promoters...
Craig Thatcher Roars to second UMP Modified win at Volusia Speedway and wraps up Speedweeks Title!
BARBERVILLE, FL - Two time and defending Florida UMP Winter Nationals points champ Craig Thatcher roared to his second United Midwestern Promoters Open Wheel Modified victory of 2005 at Volusia Speedway Park.
Thatcher, of Knapp, WI, piloted his Tri-Star Engine Supply, Bilstein Shock Absorber, Miller Lite and Specialty Fabricating Racecars open wheel modified to the lead on the opening lap from his second row inside starting position and although he led all twenty-five laps, he had to hold off late challenges from Joey Kramer and Steve Arpin.
The twenty-five lap main event got off to a rough start as a huge crash on the opening lap involving just over half the field. After the complete restart, Thatcher jumped to the lead. Joey Kramer, who won back to back the previous two nights, moved into the third position behind Mark Dotson.
Dotson moved in to challenge Thatcher on lap four, but Thatcher held off the challenge and opened up a five car length lead just two laps later as Dotson was being challenged by Kramer for the second spot. Kramer wrestled the second position away from Dotson on lap seven and a caution on lap eight for the spinning cars of Corky Thomas and Greg Baumberger allowed Kramer to close right on the back bumper of Thatcher.
On the restart, Kramer pulled along side of Thatcher as the two battled down the back stretch. Thatcher had the better line going into turn three and re-established his lead. Meanwhile, opening night winner Steve Arpin was on the move from his seventeenth starting position and was into the top five by lap fifteen.
The final caution waved on lap twenty-one when Jason Barnhill rolled to a stop after his engine expired. Thatcher paced the way on the restart as Kramer, Dotson, Arpin and Tom Moore look to move up in the final four laps. Arpin was the man on the move in the final four laps as he went to the high side and took the third spot from Dotson but ran out of time while trying to catch Thatcher and Kramer. Dotson took fourth and Moore completed the top five.
Thatcher contributes a lot of his success at Volusia Speedway Park to the fact that he races at several tracks in Wisconsin that are similar in size and layout. Thatcher's win vaulted him to his third straight UMP Florida Winter Nationals Title.
Through five of six scheduled races, Thatcher (288) has clinched the Florida Tour Title and is followed in the standings by Kramer (216), Arpin (196), Ohnstad (162) and female sensation Julie McDermid (152) rounds out the top five.
SUMMARY EVENT NO. 4
FEATURE (25-LAPS): 91-CRAIG THATCHER, 77k-Joey Kramer, 00a-Steve Arpin, 85d- Mark Dotson, 55-Tom Moore, 1a-Chad Ohnstad, 1m-Julie McDermid, 2w-Paul White, Q-Joey Jensen, 01k-Don Kiger, 2c-David Cain, 2t-Corky Thomas, 1s- Brian Shaw, 75s-Eric Scribler, 2j-Blake Jetgvig, t3-Greg Baumberger, 54r- Dick Peterson, 17d-Scott Duval, 93c-Larry Cunningham, 1b-Jason Barnhill, 33w-Steve Wetter, 17je-J.E. Stadler, 7j-Johnny DeYoung, 34-Ben Stephens
HEAT 1: Dotson, Ohnstad, White, Baumberger
HEAT 2: Stadler, McDermid, Cunningham, Tim Moore
HEAT 3: Thatcher, Jetgvig, Barnhill, Cain
HEAT 4: Jensen, Tom Moore, Kiger, Shawn Flanery
HEAT 5: Kramer, Wetter, Arpin, Duval
HEAT 6: J. DeYoung, Stephens, Thomas, J.R. Nolan
SEMI #1: Baumberger, Scribler, David McWilliams, Chuck Haga
SEMI #2: Duval, Peterson, Brad Miller, Mike Wilson
SEMI #3: Cain, Shaw, Zack Vanderboer, Ken Myracle